Primary hyperparathyroidism (pHPT) resulting from parathyroid tumors is a common endocrine disorder with incompletely understood etiology. In renal failure, secondary hyperparathyroidism (sHPT) occurs with multiple tumor development as a result of calcium and vitamin D regulatory disturbance.
The aim of the study was to investigate whether HIC1 may act as a tumor suppressor in the parathyroid glands and whether deregulated expression involves epigenetic mechanisms.
PATIENTS AND METHODS:
Parathyroid tumors from patients with pHPT included single adenomas, multiple tumors from the same patient, and cancer. Hyperplastic parathyroid glands from patients with sHPT and hypercalcemia and normal parathyroid tissue specimens were included in the study. Quantitative RT-PCR, bisulfite pyrosequencing, colony formation assay, chromatin immunoprecipitation, and RNA interference was used.
HIC1 was generally underexpressed regardless of the hyperparathyroid disease state including multiple parathyroid tumors from the same patient, and overexpression of HIC1 led to a decrease in clonogenic survival of parathyroid tumor cells. Only the carcinomas showed a high methylation level and reduced HIC1 expression. Cell culture experiments, including use of primary parathyroid tumor cells prepared directly after operation, the general histone methyltransferase inhibitor 3-deazaneplanocin A, chromatin immunoprecipitation, and RNA interference of DNA methyltransferases and EZH2 (enhancer of zeste homolog 2), supported a role of repressive histone H3 modifications (H3K27me2/3) rather than DNA methylation in repression of HIC1.
The results strongly support a growth-regulatory role of HIC1 in the parathyroid glands and suggest that perturbed expression of HIC1 may represent an early event during tumor development. Repressive histone modification H3K27me2/3 is involved in repression of HIC1 expression in hyperparathyroid tumors.
2012. Vol. 97, no 7, E1307-E1315 p.